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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:07 PM
vetaldj vetaldj is offline
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Is 5 series so secured?

Hi,

Yesterday I locked my key in the trunk and I don't have spare... I called AAA and guy was not able to do anything, he called for help, another one spent additional 30 min and could not open the door either. They towed my car to dealer and surprise - they can't do it as well... I ended with order for new master key and using our public transportation for next 4 days (thanks God Honolulu has great bus system)... They all told me that 5 series is very secure so nobody can get in... Is that true or dealer decided to get some money from me?

When they pressed that button to unlock door nothing happen. Can it be some security sustem failure or it should be like that?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:21 PM
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02BMW530 02BMW530 is offline
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Yours (97) is set up to where, once it's locked, only a key will open it. Pushing the interior button and/or pulling the door handle twice won't do a thing. This was changed in later years (99+ I believe).

I would recommend putting a duplicate key (ie the plastic emergency one) in a magnet box and storing it underneath the car.


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  #3  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:28 PM
vetaldj vetaldj is offline
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Thanks! That's exectly what I will do as soon as I can get into it... BTW - that plastic one, I should ask for it at dealership, right?
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:43 PM
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This is more common than you think, You could drill a hole behind your license plate, some car already have a hole there with a rubber plug. after that u fish around for the rod to pull the latch.
heres a quick link, scroll down, somebody explains how to do this. If you Google it you can even find pictures and a step by step DIY.
http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/904...ill+hole+plate
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:52 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetaldj View Post
Thanks! That's exectly what I will do as soon as I can get into it... BTW - that plastic one, I should ask for it at dealership, right?
That one comes with the car. If the original owner didn't give it to you, he probably lost it.
You only can get a master key from the dealer. Every e39 has a maximum limit of 10 keys from date of manufacturing. That is if the car was delivered with 2 master keys, you can order only 8 more.
Here are the keys when the car was delivered new:

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  #6  
Old 04-01-2011, 03:16 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by doru View Post
Every e39 has a maximum limit of 10 keys from date of manufacturing
Now that's interesting.

Why would they 'limit' the number of keys to 10?

Is the 'transponder' the unique 'thing' about the key (besides the metal cut)?

If so, is that transponder a hard-coded chip? Or is it something like a PROM or FPGA that can be 'burned' after the fact?
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2011, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Now that's interesting.

Why would they 'limit' the number of keys to 10?

Is the 'transponder' the unique 'thing' about the key (besides the metal cut)?

If so, is that transponder a hard-coded chip? Or is it something like a PROM or FPGA that can be 'burned' after the fact?
Ive heard that before. Its true BUT its not true that you have to go to the dealer to get it coded. My local locksmith has blanks just like the ones you see on ebay and a laptop that he connects to the car that programs the key. $100 and you get a master key and a plastic emergency key.

That's the same thing repo companies have, they cut the key with the serial number, get inside the car, connect the laptop to the car put the key in the ignition and 10 minutes later the key is programmed and will start the car.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2011, 03:44 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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It is true. When 10 keys are coded to a car, you have to get a new ews and lock set. I have ran into this, and no matter what type of scanner you have, it is not possible to program the 11th key to the car, it will not take the code.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimmys 530i View Post
It is true. When 10 keys are coded to a car, you have to get a new ews and lock set. I have ran into this, and no matter what type of scanner you have, it is not possible to program the 11th key to the car, it will not take the code.
I can give you the shops phone number. They laughed at me when I said the same thing you said. There's laws preventing car companies from making anything DEALER only. Yes the options for regular car repair shops are very expensive but is available. Luckily in this day and age electronics have gotten cheaper and now even a at home do it urself'er can buy the laptop and software required to code modules and keys.

I didnt believe it either untill i had the guy in my car programming a key he just cut minutes ago. FAAar away from any "dealer"
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Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:05 PM
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For the people who doubt me.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-B...motiveQ5fTools
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Andreas
Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:13 PM
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02BMW530 02BMW530 is offline
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You can, however, cut 100 plastic keys. These have no chips and only do one thing - open the door. Seems boring, but it would've saved the OP lots of money now if he had that hidden under the car or in a wallet.

On the bright side, you'll have 4 new keys now!


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  #12  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:22 PM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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A simple search would of helped the OP. The tiny hole behind the license plate trick works.
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Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:39 PM
vetaldj vetaldj is offline
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A lots of things was able to save me some money - in week before that I almost cut emergency key (I have blank) for about $20 but other things did not allow me to do so. That's fine, lesson learned and this will not happen again.
Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:43 PM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetaldj View Post
A lots of things was able to save me some money - in week before that I almost cut emergency key (I have blank) for about $20 but other things did not allow me to do so. That's fine, lesson learned and this will not happen again.
Thanks!
Cool remember its always cheaper to ask on a forum first. I hate to see people pay out the asz cause the dealer "said so"
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Andreas
Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:47 PM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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wow its gotten even faster, repo guys had to watch their backs for 15 minutes till the key programed. Now it looks like its about 1 minute.
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Andreas
Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02BMW530 View Post
Yours (97) is set up to where, once it's locked, only a key will open it. Pushing the interior button and/or pulling the door handle twice won't do a thing. This was changed in later years (99+ I believe).

I would recommend putting a duplicate key (ie the plastic emergency one) in a magnet box and storing it underneath the car.


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Nope, my 2001 cannot be opened except using the key as well. I learned this AFTER the guy from AAA dicked up the paint around my door with his shim tool
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2011, 06:07 PM
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02BMW530 02BMW530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetaldj View Post
A lots of things was able to save me some money - in week before that I almost cut emergency key (I have blank) for about $20 but other things did not allow me to do so. That's fine, lesson learned and this will not happen again.
Thanks!
I feel your pain! Hindsight is 20/20 and murphy's law always prevails.


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  #18  
Old 04-01-2011, 07:33 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
I can give you the shops phone number. They laughed at me when I said the same thing you said. There's laws preventing car companies from making anything DEALER only. Yes the options for regular car repair shops are very expensive but is available. Luckily in this day and age electronics have gotten cheaper and now even a at home do it urself'er can buy the laptop and software required to code modules and keys.

I didnt believe it either untill i had the guy in my car programming a key he just cut minutes ago. FAAar away from any "dealer"
How about this, I will hook up my scanner to my 530i, and take a picture of the screen that shows how many keys are cut, and how many are left. It does not matter what type of coder you have, you cannot get around the DME not accepting the 11th key. Even if you have dealer equipment, you still cannot bypass the EWS and DME to make it accept the key number 11. I have personally tried with a GT1 and a Launch, both tell me the same thing, 10 coded keys only. If you want keys to open the doors, and unlock the steering column, you can make a million keys, but if you want to start the car, only 10.
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  #19  
Old 04-01-2011, 10:00 PM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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Originally Posted by Jimmys 530i View Post
How about this, I will hook up my scanner to my 530i, and take a picture of the screen that shows how many keys are cut, and how many are left. It does not matter what type of coder you have, you cannot get around the DME not accepting the 11th key. Even if you have dealer equipment, you still cannot bypass the EWS and DME to make it accept the key number 11. I have personally tried with a GT1 and a Launch, both tell me the same thing, 10 coded keys only. If you want keys to open the doors, and unlock the steering column, you can make a million keys, but if you want to start the car, only 10.

whoaa nooo sorry, misunderstanding. I was referring to the myth that only the dealer can code/program the keys.
Was no disrespect towards you. Sorry we got off on the wrong foot

And your right i was not thinking about how many keys can be accepted by the DME. Its funny though, if you get all 10 keys programmed in the DME then the repo guys cant take your car with the key method. lol still nothing stopping them from putting skates your car and getting it on a flatbed.

BTW What scanner do you use? Are you able to code modules like the ABS or LCM? I'm on the market for a cheap yet safe scanner/computer. Whats good for a serious DIY'er and wont break the bank? Should i buy a laptop based system or hand-held?
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Queens NY
BMWCCA# 186796
86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
00 540is 6spd 214k (daily driver) Timing chain guides just failed. In the middle of a full rebuild instead of repair. I wonder how much longer it would of gone if i just repaired it.
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  #20  
Old 04-01-2011, 11:52 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02BMW530 View Post
You can, however, cut 100 plastic keys
That's very interesting. We should all 'hide' a plastic key under our bumper (or wherever).

Do we have a good source for those plastic keys?
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  #21  
Old 04-01-2011, 11:53 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
Just for the record, since these things are ephemeral, here's a screenshot of that link above & an included PDF of the entire web page description:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	key_programmer.png
Views:	1733
Size:	153.9 KB
ID:	272822  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf making_your_own_bmw_key.pdf (1.89 MB, 477 views)

Last edited by bluebee; 04-02-2011 at 12:04 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-01-2011, 11:57 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
wow its gotten even faster, repo guys had to watch their backs for 15 minutes till the key programed. Now it looks like its about 1 minute.
I'm curious how you posted that URL (with the dot between "u" & "b").

This is what you posted:
-

This is where it went (I added spaces to keep the link from viewing):
- http:// www . youtube . com / watch?v= kVmPfCFFkqQ&feature=youtu.be

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  #23  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:43 AM
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How easy is it to break the windows on these babies? I know that the Audi windows are near damn bulletproof. I striked a window of a Audi a6 with a nice estwing hammer and it just bounced. Are the e39s like this? Btw for you guys wondering, I was not breaking and entering. Audi dealer next door and they locked their a6 with keys and all inside and asked us for a hand to break the window. I'm a good boy


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Old 04-02-2011, 05:27 AM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
whoaa nooo sorry, misunderstanding. I was referring to the myth that only the dealer can code/program the keys.
Was no disrespect towards you. Sorry we got off on the wrong foot

And your right i was not thinking about how many keys can be accepted by the DME. Its funny though, if you get all 10 keys programmed in the DME then the repo guys cant take your car with the key method. lol still nothing stopping them from putting skates your car and getting it on a flatbed.

BTW What scanner do you use? Are you able to code modules like the ABS or LCM? I'm on the market for a cheap yet safe scanner/computer. Whats good for a serious DIY'er and wont break the bank? Should i buy a laptop based system or hand-held?
I use a Launch X-431. I paid a little over 3k for it. I bought it for the shop I work at. It is not BMW specfic, it does all cars from 1996-2011. I can do obd1 bmws, domestic, some imports.

I know that on the E90s, all you have to do to code a key is to get a blank from the dealer, and stick it in. 10 seconds later, the key is coded to the car. I bought my E90 with a salvage title, and it didn't come with a key. I bought a key off of eBay, and after putting it in, it took the code and the car started right up. So if you want to take someones E90, all you need is an open car and a blank key. Even the keyless entry is programmed and the owner will not have a clue.
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2011, 07:17 AM
E39 Paul E39 Paul is offline
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hmmm everybody gone off topic.
try using a length of metal bar (like a coat hanger) and carefully pry top of drivers door ajar.
use metal bar to press boot release...presto you then have your keys.

alternatively an old way car thieves used to access car was to give car an electric jolt. (not too sure i would be happy doing this!)
or
if the car thinks it has been in an accident there is a safety feature built in which unlocks all doors...need to hit front/rear bumper/fender of car
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